Travel Training Service

Information for parents of learners with additional support needs who want to develop the skills and confidence to travel safely, confidently and eventually, independently.

What is the Travel Training Service?

The City of Bristol College Travel Training Service is a scheme which aims to teach learners with additional support needs how to travel on their own.

The scheme is available for learners at Ashley Down Centre, College Green Centre, South Bristol Skills Academy and Parkway Centres.

The Travel Training Service provides a safe place to try out independent travel, learn new skills and build confidence.
The scheme supports learners to overcome barriers by empowering them with tools that facilitate their inclusion and their transition into adulthood and employment.

Who is Travel Training for?

Travel Training is available for all learners with additional support needs who want to use buses independently as an alternative to being supported by parents or staff or using a taxi or community transport/minibus.

Some of the learners we support have never had the opportunity to travel independently before, while others are already independent in some routes and they want to learn a new route or to improve their confidence and safety.

Why do Travel Training?

Travel training has an important role in promoting young people’s independence. It helps with road safety and awareness skills, planning routes, staying safe when out and about and accessing opportunities like education, employment, sport and leisure activities or visiting family and friends.

Travel Training helps with issues people face when using public transport such as the fear of getting lost or being discriminated against for having a learning disability.

How does it work?

Travel Training involves working on a one-to-one basis along the routes and is individually tailored to suit the learner’s needs. The travel training sessions are structured and planned by the Travel Training Coordinator, covering:

  • road safety and awareness
  • personal safety
  • planning a journey
  • travel skills and using public transport
  • money skills
  • concept of time
  • appropriate behaviour
  • communication

Some of our Travel Trainers are on the autism spectrum or have a learning disability, and therefore have experience of the needs and difficulties learners face in their lives and travels.

After an initial interview and assessment are completed with the learner and when appropriate with their parents/carers, a training plan is designed – usually around 6 weeks, depending on previous travel experience and skills.

During the training the level of support given is gradually reduced. Most of the training is done in a practical way and involves observations whilst out using public transport and crossing roads to make sure they are safe.

It also shares valuable resources with the learners like the Avon & Somerset Police Safe Places Scheme and the Bristol Hate Crime Service that people can freely access to help them overcome issues.

A travel training pack is provided to the learners, containing useful easy English information covering relevant topics such as how to keep safe when out and about, a checklist of what to carry, how to cross the road safely, how to use the bus, what to do in scenarios of missing the bus, a bus broking down, having an accident, feeling unwell and being bullied or harassed.

To help learners feeling safe and confident when out and about, a tailored travel wallet is provided to the learner with relevant information for their journey such as bus numbers, and times, emergency numbers and speaking cards.

More information about travel training

If you would like more information about the service or to make a referral please contact our Travel Training Coordinator, Helder Pedro:

Where to find us